Twenty years ago, no one ever would have thought to purchase travel insurance. Dare an agent or cruise representative mention the need for insurance unless they wanted the consumer to run in the opposite direction. Now, with media coverage of cruise catastrophes, flight cancellations, and travel horror stories, people are thinking twice about a backup plan. Whether they want to ensure their trip, possessions or health, they are packing travel insurance. And just as important as being protected, packing the right insurance is key.
Different Types of Travel Insurance
Flight and Trip Cancellation Insurance
When you’re thinking about this type of coverage, it’s important to think about your investment versus the price of the insurance. If you’re looking at an ultra-bargain, super-sale flight to Atlantic City, you’re not going to need this. For something like a $10,000 cruise in the Mediterranean, I would recommend purchasing cruise travel insurance.
If you miss your trip from unforeseen circumstances; death in the family, getting sick, car accident, you’re going to need coverage. What if the excursions change or the cruise has to change its course? Worse, what if you get sick on the cruise. You’re going to need outside insurance, as in don’t buy it from the cruise brand. Their insurance goes out the window if their cruise brand goes out the window.
Travel Health Insurance
Many people think because they have health coverage in the states that they are covered anywhere. Not the case. Especially on cruises. If you leave the U.S., like on a cruise, you are no longer covered by your health insurance. Given that most cruises that port from the U.S. aren’t even U.S. flagged vessels, this should be your first red flag.
Consequently, if you need to be flown back to the states due to an emergency illness, you are also not covered by your health insurance. This is why obtaining a travel insurance policy with travel health insurance is also very important and essential for anyone who travels. Not to mention, if you’re in an underdeveloped country, many hospitals will admit you without concern of coverage, then keep you until you pay.
When you are shopping for travel health insurance, make sure they provide initial treatment and stabilization then send a medically equipped and staffed jet to fly you to the doctor and medical facility of your choice. This is crucial. Many companies that offer this insurance will fly you to the doctor and medical facility of their choice.
Most trip cancellation and interruption policies cover lost, damaged, and stolen bags. This is essential. Since the Warsaw Convention only covers $9.07 / pound for checked bags and $400 for passenger and unchecked bags. As of Feb. 28, 2007, U.S. airlines’ liability for lost or damaged luggage increased to $3,000 per passenger from the current limit of $2,800. Sounds good, right?
Think about this. They exclude jewelry, furs, negotiable financial documents, pretty much anything worth something. Then they love “depreciation”. Oh, and the $3,000 limit is per incident, not per bag.
You can though, and most people don’t know this, ask for “excess valuation” at the ticket counter. It provides up to $5,000 additional coverage, at a rate of about $1 per $100 in value. Purchasing this means you’ll have to describe what’s in your bag, but well worth it.
To Buy or Not to Buy
First, think of your investment versus the amount you will pay out for insurance. Think of where you are going, will the area be underdeveloped? Think about the form of payment. If you buy an airline ticket with your credit card and it’s canceled, you’re covered, since you bought a contract for service you didn’t get.
Look for third-party travel insurance like cruise travel insurance, one that is not affiliated with the company you are getting your travel arranged with, and someone who is licensed in your state/country.
If flight or cruise delays make you want to cancel, you may be out of luck. Read the fine print, as with some policies, more than half of your vacation has to be delayed before you can cancel and be covered.
To find the best quotes on insurance, use a Health Insurance Finder to get the best comparisons tailored to your preferences.